“ A Subject of Investigation ”: Miracle at Mirebeau

  • George Mills Harper


In 1914, “on Monday, May nth”, as Yeats noted precisely, he, Maud Gonne, and Everard Feilding arrived at Mirebeau, France, “to investigate a miracle”: bleeding oleographs of the sacred heart. Almost immediately, certainly before May 17, Yeats dictated an essay to Maud Gonne to record the details of their investigation and his own rather guarded evaluation. Mauds manuscript and a clean typescript which follows it carefully, even to occasional eccentricities of punctuation, are preserved in Yeats’s papers. Although he clearly intended to publish the essay, he did not supervise the typing nor revise it, as he surely would have, if he had prepared it for publication.


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  1. 3.
    Both these letters are quoted in Lady Gregory’s Seventy Years, ed. Colin Smythe (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 1974), p. 494.Google Scholar
  2. See also Yeats’s “Notes,” in Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 1970) for a reference to the “excommunicated miracle– working priest” (p.352).Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    Quoted by Feilding, “The Case of the Abbé Vachère,” in Transactions of the Fourth International Congress for Psychical Research, ed. Theodore Besterman (London: The Society for Psychical Research, 1930), p. 132.Google Scholar
  4. 20.
    Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science, ed. Nandor Fodor (London: Arthurs Press, 1933), p. 268.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Robert O’Driscoll and Lorna Reynolds 1975

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  • George Mills Harper

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